Stink bug season started

30 September 2021

A reminder that the new Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season kicked off 1 September and the country is once again working to block potential entry pathways for the invasive pest to arrive in New Zealand.

There are revised import rules in place for vehicles, machinery, and parts – commodities that have been popular for hitchhiking bugs in the past. Compared to previous seasons, the revisions are small, but the main changes are:

  • Vehicles, machinery, and parts from Poland must now be treated (or undergo other approved management options) before they arrive in New Zealand. The addition of Poland to the list means there are now 38 countries subject to offshore management requirements.
  • All-terrain vehicles, golf carts, quad bikes, and side-by-side racers are no longer considered for exclusion from management requirements.
  • Imported inflatable boats are now excluded from the management requirements.

Like previous seasons, the focus of Biosecurity New Zealand’s border clearance activity will be cargo that could hide aggregations of BMSB, particularly vehicles, machinery, and parts from identified risk

countries. Officers will carry out deck-by-deck vessel inspections. Further verification checks will be conducted as required, including agitation spraying to flush out any hidden bugs before cargo is unloaded, detector dog screening, and heat treatment.

Ultimately, vessels and cargo can be directed to leave New Zealand if contamination is found or if there is non-compliance with import requirements.